The Senate is continuing work to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with a particular focus on state regulation waivers, structuring new premium subsidies, and phasing out funding for Medicaid expansion.
Senate Republican leadership aims to submit a draft bill to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) early this week. Although the process remains opaque, that legislation might serve as a last-minute substitute to the House-passed American Health Care Act. Senate Republicans are hoping to reach a deal and vote on the Senate version before the July Fourth recess, but progress remains slow and floor action might be delayed into July.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are nearing a decision on funding the ACA subsidies and are preparing to appropriate money for the cost-sharing subsidies to stabilize the individual market. Their ACA repeal bill is expected to contain funding for the subsidies and might appropriate several months of funds in the interim. The lack of certainty around the stability of the payments has caused several insurers to withdraw from the ACA’s insurance marketplaces.
In committee business, a June 13 hearing by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions focused on how the prescription drug delivery system affects drug prices; and the health subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce scheduled a June 14 hearing on safety-net health programs.